BA (Hons) Theatre and Drama

Top in Wales for graduate prospects in DramaGuardian League Table 2020

This Theatre and Drama degree invites you to explore theatre-making. You’ll integrate practise and theory, work with play texts and devise and link personal creativity with ensemble-based artistic collaboration. You’ll investigate approaches, conventions and theories connected to theatre and drama through studio practice and academic research.

Our range of modules enables you to study acting, directing, theatre and performance histories and theories, voice and movement, devising, ensemble practice, theatre production, applied drama, practice as research, and more. The flexible nature of our drama degree means you can focus on your interests and career goals.

Studying drama in Cardiff, you’ll benefit from being in the centre of a booming arts industry, from television production to independent arts venues. So, you’ll be surrounded by countless opportunities during and after your drama course.

2021/22 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
W403 Full-time 3 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
W403 Full-time 3 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B

In practical workshops, you’ll explore a variety of approaches to theatre from the perspective of the actor, director, deviser, facilitator and writer. In lectures and seminars, you’ll discuss and debate a broad spectrum of theatre and drama, including historical approaches, theories and ideas about theatre and theatre-making, and performances in different parts of the world.

You’ll have the opportunity to study topics in which staff have specialist expertise, such as site-specific and offsite performance, adaptation, scriptwriting, physical theatre, theatre and science/action, horror performance, Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, and musical theatre, among others.

Our workshop and seminar studies are complemented by visits to the theatre, participation in public performances, and opportunities for industry placements. You’ll also have the chance to work with established professionals as part of the international arts scene in Cardiff and further afield.

In year three, working with fellow students, you can present your work at our annual student theatre festival. Our employability module will enable you to prepare yourself for a career anchored in theatre and drama.

Year one

  • Perspectives on Performance
  • Practical Lab
  • Professional Skills 1
  • Professional Skills 2

Year two

  • Intersections: Devised Storytelling
  • Theatre Festival
  • Specialist Studies 1
  • Applied Drama

Year three

  • Professional Practice & Employability
  • Specialist Studies 2
  • Specialist Studies 3
  • Research Project


This drama degree is structured to ensure that the theories, conventions and approaches covered in class are explored through academic and practical work.

We use a range of teaching methods, including lectures, seminars, workshops, intensive rehearsals, masterclasses with visiting practitioners, web-based forums, work placement projects, and hands-on training with technical equipment.


The work submitted for assessment by our students is equally varied and incorporates conference presentations, online portfolios, reflections on practice, and running workshops, as well as essays and performance work.


There is currently no accreditation associated with this course.


We offer impressive facilities at USW Cardiff, including a 160-seat auditorium theatre with a sprung stage floor, full lighting rig, two brand-new dance studios and new drama spaces. There are also four black box studio theatres and professional film studios with green screen and motion capture facilities on campus.


Dr Ian McNish, Drama Course Leader
Michael Carklin, Academic Subject Manager
Dr Hilary Ramsden, Senior Lecturer
Dr Marta Minier, Lecturer
Dr Nigel Long, Lecturer
Dr Geraint D’Arcy, Lecturer
Dr Jodie Allinson, Lecturer
Dr Lisa Lewis, Reader

We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.

The entry criteria below shows the qualification range within which the University will make offers. Most offers we make are at the top of the range, but we take all aspects of an application into consideration and applicants receive a personalised offer. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable.


Applicants in the UK

Selection for this course is based on a suitable application and attendance at an interview with successful outcome. You may also be required to provide a portfolio of your work prior to attending interview where your course requires this, and full details of what is required will be provided once your application has been processed.

Applicants outside the UK

Selection for this course is based on a suitable application and submission of a portfolio of your work which the Course Leader confirms is suitable for an offer to be made.

Typical A-Level Offer

BCC - CDD to include a relevant art and design subject (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD at A Level with a relevant art and design subject (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass in a relevant subject (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical IB Offer

Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum score of 29 overall including 5 or above in English at standard level

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent, but consideration is given to individual circumstances.

International Entry Requirements

We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.

English Requirements

In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.

However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

Find out how to pay your tuition fees in full or by payment plan.

This course is eligible under the Enhanced Learning Credits scheme for Ex-Armed Forces personnel.

International Scholarships are available for self-funding international students.

August 2021 - July 2022 Fees

  • Full-time UK:  £9000

  • Full-time International:  £13500 

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) £150
Rehearsal clothing/costumes. All academic years
Field Trips £200
Year 1
Field Trips £600
International Field Trip. Year 2 and/ or 3
Additional assessment or memberships £50
Grad Show/Production costs
DBS £53.20
DBS Clearance for Applied Drama activities (Optional module) This fee includes £44 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee and the online administration fee.
DBS Updating Service £13
Whilst optional it is strongly recommended signing up for this service especially if you are likely to have placements each year and wish to pursue a career post University where a DBS check is a requirement. Please note the service has to be joined within 19 days of receipt of your enhanced DBS certificate.
Other: Books £300
£200 for books across all academic years. £100 Students may be expected to travel to master classes/ conferences at their own cost

UK and EU students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly

International students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU. 

Admissions statement

Theatre and drama graduates follow a wide range of careers.  Many are employed in the media entertainment industries, while others choose to start up their own production companies, while some enter the teaching profession. The flexible and inclusive nature of the drama course ensures that our graduates have a highly developed range of transferable skills, enhancing their employability and career potential. Graduates can further their studies by applying for one of our postgraduate degrees.

South Wales is a region with a booming arts industry, from television production to independent arts venues. With our degrees, you’ll study in the heart of Cardiff, surrounded by countless opportunities during your course and after graduation.

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes one-to-one appointments from faculty-based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.